220 YTJllJlCT OX INDIA
discomfort over the lack of a " thaiik-you/ and she made me a
present of two word^. You will not find them in any of the
elementary textbooks for Europeans. Presumably, they are so
rarely used, that nobody thought it worth while to mention them.
The fir&L word is fcmihrbani." though thac may not be the correct
spelling. It means something like 'graciousness.' The second
word is hiJiuggre#,' and that means, apparently, 'sweetness/ or
something like it. I usr-d 10 say both words in loud ringing tones
to the dirtiest and most degraded beggars in the vicinity, to the
horror of the sahibs and the high-caste Hindus5 but to che evident
delight of the degraded ones, who had never heard such words
cast in their direction before.
The second mam criticism to be levelled against the British who
live in India is that they do not live in India at all. Their heart is
in the Highlands—or in Kensington High Street. They make not
the smallest effort to understand the country and their only
thought is how soon, and how profitably, they will be able to get
out of it.
These people used to say to me, ad nauseam:
* What ? You're going to write a book about India when you've
only been out here a year ? Good Lord man, I've been out here
over twenty years, and I don't know a thing about it!5
To which one was tempted to reply.. .'Evidently not. And if
you stay out here another twenty you'll still be as ignorant.'
There is something very irritating to the trained reporter in
this suggestion that it is necessary to live in a country for twenty
years before one is qualified to express an opinion about it. The
trained reporter would probably see more in a single railway
journey than the amateur would see in a year of residence.
Here are some elementary questions about India and the
answers that the average Englishman will give to them.
*Have you ever seen an Indian film ?**
4Good Lord, no. Fearful things, Indian films/